March 21, 2016, 1:03 pm
It’s the first day of a new week and you may be having a bad case of the Mondays. Hoop Ball understands your pain. So with that in mind, we don’t want you to add any more stress to your day by having to navigate through League Pass just to find a good game to watch. Let us do that job for you.
The Honorable Mentions: The Warriors go up against the young Timberwolves, the Kings face the hobbled Bulls and the Bucks look to take down the Pistons.
Now for your ‘must watch’ game of the night.
Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks
Tip Time: 8 pm (est)
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Player Matchup: Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap
The Wizards (34-35) have bounced back in a big way after going through a season-high five-game losing streak just a week ago. Since then, the team has won four games in a row and sits just one and a half games behind the Chicago Bulls for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
John Wall has been exceptional this season averaging a career-high 20.1 points, 10 assists and five rebounds per game. Through the month of March, Wall has not let off the gas averaging 20.3 points, 11 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game.
It’s been a slow transition for Markieff Morris, who was acquired by the Wizards at the February 18th trade deadline, as he has quietly become a useful player for the Wizards. Over Morris’ last 10 games, the four-year veteran has been averaging 12.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
“It’s going to be a great matchup with him (Morris) going up against Millsap,” Wall said. We’ve got someone who can guard (guys like him) one-on-one.”
The Hawks (41-29), after a disappointing start to the season, have now looked like the team they were when they won 60 games last season. Atlanta is currently on a five-game winning streak and in the month of March the Hawks have gone 8-2.
Over the Hawks last three games, the team has averaged 114.3 points per game while only giving up 91.8 points to their opponents.
“I think we’re just peaking at the right time as a team,” Horford said. “It feels very different. I feel like we’re a much better team. We’re much more focused.”
A big contributor to their success is nine-year veteran Paul Millsap. The skilled big man has played great this season and over the team’s past 10 games he has been filling up the stat sheet with averages of 15.9 points, 3.4 assists, nine rebounds, two steals and 1.8 blocks per contest. In his last game against the Wizards, Millsap put on a show finishing with 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Atlanta has won 14 of their last 15 meetings. Washington has a lot on the line as they fight for their playoff lives. For the Hawks, they want some breathing room in their chase of the third seed in the East. With so much on the line for both teams this game is going to have the playoff-type feel that everyone enjoys watching.